The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS INDEX
code red
Which country has the greatest freedom of the press? Wouldja believe Finland? Reporters Without Borders has just released a report ranking most of the world's countries on the freedom and safety of journalists to do their jobs without fear of reprisals. The map above is a breakdown of those rankings; white means pretty wide-open media liberty, dark blood red means reporter road kill.

The United States, which includes the birthplace of freedom of the press in New York City, places at No. 17. Not bad; heck, 17 is my lucky number!

The article makes a big to-do about richer nations and democracies not necessarily having an automatic high regard for the Fourth Estate. That's not really so shocking; respect for free-standing institutions has more to do with a country's political culture than anything else. Prosperity, or lack of it, doesn't necessarily play into that (although like anything else, it has some influence).

Incidentally, Reporters Without Borders has its share of critics.